Call my a cynic, but I don't think it's a coincidence that the last three Cyber Mondays have been pre-empted with Amazon announcing some new headline-grabbing tech project. In 2013, it revealed that its R&D department was working on drones capable of delivering packages within 30 minutes; in 2014 it was warehouse robots; this year, it's drones again!
And no, the irony of writing this story does not escape us.
The new drone that Amazon's showing off still aims for 30-minute deliveries, but now comes with a brand new design and is capable of flying up to 15 miles, reaching altitudes of 400 feet.
The latest prototype takes the shape of a small plane which can take off vertically before switching to horizontal flight. It then switches back to vertical mode to drop off your package, before zipping off again for its next adventure.
Reach for the skies
The video, which features new Amazon golden boy Jeremy Clarkson, gives us a glimpse into a future where nobody bats an eyelid at the thought of calling in a drone to deliver an emergency pair of shoes.
"In time there'll be a whole family of Amazon drones. Different designs for different environments," Clarkson tells us, suggesting that the previous design might still be in development alongside this one.
But still hovering above is the uncertainty of the law. The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is still deciding on the rules over in the US, while the UK laws have been more lenient.
Earlier this year the FAA proposed rules to allow drone deliveries so long as certain weight and visibility restrictions were met, but the final guidelines are yet to be revealed.
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